Fightback ’09: Channel relationships and programs to the fore

Fightback ’09: Channel relationships and programs to the fore

The good news from the channel

With no let up in the bad news filtering out of the economy, the focus has moved to channel relationships and programs.

Perhaps the biggest story globally in the last few days was Cisco Systems launching its Unified Computing System, comprising virtualisation technology, services and blade servers aimed at helping enterprises develop and manage what it calls "next-generation datacentres."

But in the local market it was all about EMC appointing Ingram Micro as its second Australian distributor in an effort to extend its channel reach.

Ingram will sit alongside the storage vendor’s inaugural local distributor, Westcon Group, and has full access to EMC’s product portfolio. EMC general manager of commercial and channel sales, David Henderson, told ARN it had experienced a tremendously successful relationship with Westcon, but felt the time was right to bring on a second, complementary player.

Netgear also upped its channel play through a stronger commitment with a new partner program and technology-based specialisations.

The program formalises and updates key benefits offered to Netgear’s network of resellers and stemmed from existing partner feedback, managing director, Ryan Parker said.

It includes free certified sales training and technical training courses with the goal of turning partners into trusted advisors to customers across a range of Netgear solutions. Other benefits include higher gross margins and deeper discounts on key products, performance incentives, no minimum order quantities and a channel-only sales model.

In other good news, cloud services spending will increase almost three-fold in the next three years and reach $US42 billion by 2012, according to IDC.

The analyst group’s latest Asia-Pacific survey found 11 per cent of respondents already consumed cloud-based solutions. Forty-one per cent are either piloting or are considering incorporating cloud services into their businesses, and only 8 per cent of respondents believe cloud computing is mostly vendor hype.

Meanwhile, new research commissioned by IBM and conducted by Access Economics flagged ICT investment a key to boosting productivity growth in the face of the economic downturn.

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